Guest Bathroom Remodel Part 5: Demo Almost Done and Plumbing!

I did the last of the major demo last night/early this morning, removing the toilet, vanity, drywall behind the vanity, and last remaining tiles. The plumber will be installing the new tub and converting the sink plumbing from single to double today/tomorrow. Aside from grinding the remaining mortar from the subfloor (I may replace it though), a few more small areas where I need to replace drywall, and the threshold (which I still haven’t decide what I’m doing with), I am done with demo. 

Bye Felicia!

The vanity was a major PITA. The plumbing was done completely inside of it, and there was no cutout for it. So they just punched holes and fitted everything inside it. Since I told my plumber I’d have it out and the studs exposed so he could work in the wall, I had to get creative getting around them. I wish I had remembered to take a pic inside to show how tight the area was. I first tried to use a dremel to cut a box around the plumbing, thinking that I’d then be able to remove the rest of the vanity, and have more space to work with. That didn’t work at all, and in fact almost caught the MDF on fire! There were scorch marks around all the cuts I made. Additionally, I couldn’t even fit it around the left side of the pipe. Normally, I would just use my reciprocating saw and hack away. However, I had no idea how the pipes were run behind this thing, so I did not want to take any chances. 

I decided that strategic brute force was going to be the answer. I disconnected the faucet and drain, then ripped the counter/sink off the cabinet and out of the wall. Then I beat the living shit out of the front and side of the cabinet, to expose the inside completely. I made a run with my circular saw, but it was obviously too big to get around the pipes. Being able to see the situation a bit more clearly, I felt it was safe enough to use the reciprocating saw (very carefully) to cut around them. So I cut a few lines just about to the pipes, then went back to the brute force method of my work boot holding the area just under the pipes and ripping away the MDF around it. That worked out well and I was able to snap off the remaining pieces. Once that was done, I cut out the drywall for the plumbing reconfiguration.

Drywall removed for plumbing work. And yeah, I was sweaty!

Next it was toilet time! Well really, I did the toilet before I finished with the vanity area, but it makes more sense to group that as one thing. I was really not looking forward to the horrors of removing a toilet. I at least had the foresight to go get a dollar plug to cap the drain pipe, since it’s going to be at least a week before I’m done with tile and can install the new toilet. One thing I didn’t do, which I really regret, was to clean the inside of the toilet before shutting off the water. I planned on it, I just forgot. I had done a bit of wipe down on the outside of it, knowing that I’d be hugging that nasty thing to get it out of there. So sponging out water from a dirty bowl, that’s a good time. 

Once I sponged out all of the water from the tank and bowl, I disconnected the water supply and unscrewed the bolts from the flange. Try to pull the toilet, it ain’t moving. Try pushing with my legs from the tub, not even the slightest movement. That thing was really glued down. I had expected the tile would give, since it had come up so easy in other spots around the toilet, but it was on there pretty good too. So I had to scrape the caulk around it, which was also unpleasant. Once I got clean through a few inches, I was able to rock it out. The horrors I expected, were thankfully not there. It was still gross, but mostly just cleaning up the old wax ring. The smell is awful though. And, someone decided to take a shit and flush the toilet directly behind it right when my face was down there, so bonus gross! 


After removing the toilet, and placing it in it’s new home on the side of my house, I got all of the vanity out and into my trash bin. The trash guys probably really hate me right now. I’ve been loading that thing up with bags of tile and drywall. It has to have weighed at least 300lbs the past few pickups. Anyhow, I got the last of the tiles up this morning, and cleaned up a bit in there. The new shop vac I got is awesome! It’s a Vacmaster Beast 5 gallon, 5.5HP. Glad that I decided to replace my ancient one, cuz it never would’ve handled this mess. I still need to build my dust containment setup, but I didn’t have time/energy to do it. I’ll definitely have that setup when I grind mortar. 

I probably wont get anything else done in there until Sunday, since the plumber will still be here tomorrow, and I’ll be gone Friday and Saturday. I’m now debating the order of things, since I changed up the plan. I thought I was gonna work on the tub first, but now it makes more sense to do the floor I think, since we don’t need the tub to be operational, but the floors have to be done to put the toilet and vanity in. Look for an update Sunday or Monday!